War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

is Canada...

tonight at a reception I met a historian. I told him a bit of what I’ve been doing and why I’m here doing my PhD. he’s an academic. nice guy. smart man. he says, “Afghanistan? I didn’t know Canadians were in Afghanistan.” I looked at him not quite believing what he said, _“we were/are. in the south. Canada has lost a lot of our soldiers…” I tell him.

our invisibility cloak serves us well sometimes, but I couldn’t help but marvel at this historian not knowing Canada’s involvement nor Canada’s casualties – three times as many as the historian’s country’s losses (they’re in the north).

the lecture we attended was given by Dr Santanu Das of Kings College London who spoke on Indian Sepoys in WWI. Das is a beautiful lecturer. his command of language and thought is sensitive, his subject, fascinating, and his writing is clear and a joy to listen to. his passion for his subject – and it’s one hell of a subject, so rich and full of potential – was evident.

I was amazed to learn that 900,000 Indians served in WWI and yet my image of the war is of white men fighting against white men in the trenches. so I guess I’m a little like the historian I met tonight. and stand corrected. gladly.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled is Canada.... It was posted here on March 19, 2012.


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